The cold war is a post 1945 struggle between the U.S. and its allies and the group of nations led by the Soviet Union.Direct military conflict never occurred between the two superpowers, however economic and diplomatic struggles erupted instead.Different interests led to mutual suspicion and hostility in an ever-growing rivalry.
The origins of the Cold War can be followed back to the end of World War II.Following the surrender of Nazi Germany, the alliances between the United States and Great Britain with the Soviet Union began to unravel.By 1948 the Soviets had installed left-wing governments in the countries of Eastern Europe, which were previously liberated by the Red Army.Following this installation of ” soviet satellites”, the Americans and the British feared the permanent Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and the threat of Soviet-Influenced communist parties coming to power in the democracies of western Europe.The Soviets
were determined to maintain control of Eastern Europe in order to safeguard against any possible renewed threat from the west, from which they had been invaded twice in the 19th century by Napoleon and twice more in the 20th by Germany. The United States in retaliation started the Truman Doctrine and the Marshal Plan from which they provided economic, military equipment and financial aid to countries whose postwar poverty fueled the growth of communist parties. The Soviet Union may have accepted these foreign policies as a renewed attempt by the west to isolate and encircle them.Tensions between the two powers grew even more as both sides broke wartime agreements.Stalin failed to honor pledges to hold free elections in Eastern Europe, while Truman refused to honor promises to send reparations from Germany to help rebuild the devastated Soviet Union.It is from these confrontations, along with their opposing philosophies that became known as The Cold War.
During the period of the Cold War, the world's two superpowers, America and the Soviet Union, exploited every aspect of national life and policy in their countries for purposes of propaganda. The Cold War was "a war fought with propaganda and economic weapons, stopping short of military confrontation, as between the USA and the USSR after 1945."
After World War II Stalin achieved domination over many of the countries of Eastern Europe in late 1945 creating a huge communist bloc including Poland, Romania, Hungry, Bulgaria and Albania. Truman, the new president in 1945, after Roosevelt died was much more anti-Communist than his predecessor. By 1946, the "friendship" between the two allies had broken down and they did not trust each other.
In response and in order to prevent the spread of communism, the US developed the Marshall Plan which offered US aid to European countries after the war, but in return, the US could exert influence on the internal governments of those countries receiving aid. The countries had to adopt democratic policies and purchase American goods. Obviously, the Soviets and other communist countries rejected the plan. In addition, the Truman Doctrine, known as the doctrine of containment allowed the US to send money, advice and equipment to countries to prevent communist takeovers. This plan and doctrine shows quite clearly that the US had no intent to remain separate from Europe unlike its previous Isolationist policy, and it had no intent to allow the spread of communism within Europe.
In 1948, Stalin blocked the roads to West Berlin to cut off the suppliers provided from the Allies in the hope that Berlin would be dependent on the USSR. The US did not want to break down the roadblocks and cause a war but they did not want to give in to the USSR. Instead, they airlifted supplies to the citizens of West Berlin. This continued for ten months until Stalin opened the roads. Each side…